Any particular achievement/interest in energy/environment you would like to mention?
I had a great time during my summer 2019 internship with the U.S. Energy Association in Washington. I learned a lot from the energy-related hearings and briefings I attended on Capitol Hill and around town, and from the interesting speakers that USEA hosted at its panel events. When it comes to my interests in the energy industry, natural gas is definitely at the top of my list. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, which is why I think developing the technology for more environmentally-friendly and efficient ways of extracting gas, as well as expanding the uses for natural gas, such as for more electricity generation, are paramount. Attending a college in the Appalachian region, the topic of hydraulic fracturing is something I hear about a lot. About once a month, an organization will host some sort of fracking debate on campus and occasionally there are rallies held either for or against fracking (usually the latter).
In your opinion, what are the important issues facing the energy industry nowadays?
Climate change is a major issue facing the energy industry. While many debate how far reaching the effects are, when you look at the numbers and research, there is no denying that human activities have had a negative effect on our planet’s climate. It’s hard to find a solution to this problem that doesn’t impact some part of the energy industry. We can’t ignore climate change, hoping it will resolve itself or do something as drastic as going completely renewable, which isn’t feasible. We have to find something in the middle and we have to do it fast. We’re beyond reversing the damage, but we can mitigate climate change by investing in renewables. Fossil fuels will still have a strong presence in our future, but we can invest in technologies such as carbon capture or expand the use of cleaner-burning natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
How long have you been a member of NCAC? Any particular NCAC memory you would like to share with us?
I joined the NCAC at the beginning of 2019, so I don’t have a large inventory of memories associated with the group yet. One event that does stand out was seeing a class project of mine highlighted in one of the NCAC’s monthly newsletters (May 2019?). For the final project in my cartography map-making class, I had to create a map reflecting data I researched on any topic. I chose to make a map based on EIA data showing the percentage of each state’s electricity generation in 2018 that came from renewable resources. It was very gratifying as a sophomore undergrad to open that email with the NCAC newsletter and see that my work was out there in the real world.